The Norman Transcript

August 20, 2013

OU gets first real look at Russell

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s waited eight months for juco defensive tackle Quincy Russell to get on the practice field. He finally arrived in Norman late last week and will get to show teammates and coaches what he can do today.

He was limited to shorts and a helmet for the Sooners’ first two practices due to NCAA rules. Today, he’ll be able to do everything.

“He’s been kind of a mystery. He just appeared out of nowhere. Hey, that’s that guy,” OU center Gabe Ikard said after Monday’s practice. “I’m glad to have him and it can’t hurt to have another big body at (defensive) tackle. From what we’ve heard, he’s a very good player. I’m excited to get to practice against him and get each other better. Hopefully he can help us by getting on the field and making some plays.”

Russell, who originally signed with Texas in 2011 but wound up attending Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College the last two years, has been considered an essential piece to rebuilding the defensive line.

Since Russell has been able to participate in OU’s last two practices, the coaching staff at least knows what kind of shape he’s in.

OU coach Bob Stoops said Russell arrived in Norman in fine condition and expects him to play in the Aug. 31 season opener against Louisiana-Monroe.

“I don’t think there’s any question he’ll be ready to play by the first game. He’s in pretty good shape really,” Stoops said.

 

Still no starting QB: Stoops declined to name a starting quarterback when he met with reporters following Monday’s practice.

“Nope,” he said when asked if he was ready to make an announcement on whether junior Blake Bell or redshirt freshman Trevor Knight had claimed the job. “What else you got?”

OU opens the season Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Monroe. There hasn’t been a set date for when a starter will be named. Past starting quarterbacks have been named prior to game week of the season opener.

When asked what else the coaches needed to see, Stoops hinted Friday could be the decision day.

“We’re gonna a have few more practices — Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” he said. “When we’re ready, we’ll say so.”

 

Ikard named to CBS All-American team: OU center Gabe Ikard was named to CBSSports.com’s preseason All-American team Monday. It was the third major media outlet to place the offensive lineman on its preseason All American squad.

Ikard, a senior out of Bishop McGuinness in Oklahoma City, was named to Sports Illustrated’s and ESPN.com’s preseason All-American teams earlier this month.

Ikard was the only Sooner named to CBSSports.com’s team. The Big 12 Conference landed three more players on the first team in Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk and guard Cyril Richardson, and TCU cornerback Jason Verett.

Baylor wide receiver Tevin Reese, TCU defensive end Devonte Fields and Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat were second-team selections.

Dodging the heat: Monday was the first day of school at OU, which also meant it was the first day the Sooners had to practice in the middle of the afternoon.

What wasn’t typical Monday was the heat, or lack or it. The high was in the mid 80s, or about seven degrees lower than normal. The previous two years, the start of school was greeted by temperatures over 100 degrees.

“The weather has been pretty kind to us right now, but like I say and keep telling the freshmen, ‘It’s fool’s gold, baby,’” Ikard said. “The heat is coming. Just wait for it.”

 

Prepping for the opener: Technically, the Sooners are still in preseason camp mode. All work has been geared toward player improvement. Outside of watching some video, attention hasn’t turned to opponents.

Stoops said that will change this week.

“We’ve already looked at them a lot in the summer but we’ll start on the field with them probably Thursday,” he said.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com